Juneteenth 2020 at BCC

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the end of slavery. On June 19, 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas were told that they were emancipated and were free. This was two years after President Lincoln abolished slavery with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, but slavery was still practiced in many places. With the official announcement that slaves were freed by Union Army Major General Gordon Granger.

Juneteenth has grown in popularity over the years, and is truly symbolic this year because of what is currently going on in our country. Black people have been celebrating its importance, but especially now, Juneteenth is a holiday that can be honored and celebrated by everyone.

BCC would like to join in on the celebration of Juneteenth this Friday. Staff are encouraged to wear attire in support of Juneteenth and black history. Each BCC location will have a celebratory menu to keep to the celebration going.

Below are some ways to celebrate Juneteenth that we shared with our staff and we hope you find the list inspiring:

  • Read About It – Get more familiar with Juneteenth by reading books about it. You can also read books that share Black history as well.
  • Movies and popcorn – Watch movies about the Black experience on streaming services. Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu are sharing free movies that can help you understand better the struggle of Black people in this country.
  • Participate – Encourage your workplace to celebrate Juneteenth as well and create a display for the workplace that is Juneteenth centric.
  • Wear It – Make or wear celebratory Juneteenth t-shirts or other celebratory attire that celebrates black history, black fraternities & sororities, HBCUs, Black Lives Matters, etc.
  • Decorate – Put up decorations around your home inside and out to show your festive mood.
  • Kiddos – Have your kids write a poem or a short story that is about Juneteenth.
  • Activity sheetsHere are some great activity sheets for your children to help them learn more about Juneteenth. You might even learn some things, too.
  • Recipes – Do you have a family recipe that has been passed down from generations? Why not make it on Juneteenth with your family?
  • New Traditions – Create a new family tradition that can be passed down to the next generation. Make it Juneteenth specific.
  • Virtual TourTake a 30-min, virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slavery and Freedom exhibit.

No matter what ethnicity you are, celebrating Juneteenth is important to us all, as it is a part of our history. I hope the list above inspires you to join the celebrations on Freedom Day.

Read more from Juneteenth 2020 at BCC
juneteenth freedom day

Our purpose and BCC’s path forward

A Letter from BCC’s President & CEO

“Compassion asks for us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion and anguish.  Compassion means the full immersion of being human.” ~ Henri Nouwen.

To the communities BCC serves, our staff, and stakeholders,

I am disgusted and appalled at the murder of Mr. George Floyd.  This past week’s events, and the unfathomable pattern they are a part of, have made me realize that we are often silent on the racial injustice and discrimination that my colleagues and friends face every day. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Freddie Gray and countless others reinforce the brutal truth that the African American community still remains vulnerable and subjected to senseless acts of violence.  Not talking openly about racism allows it to grow in the shadows and helps seed the horrific events we witness.

Time and again I begin my all staff messages with our purpose statement:  enriching communities, one family at a time.  At BCC, we cannot fulfill our purpose statement without taking a stand against police brutality and racism.   Through this lens, I am looking at our own community and the hurt and fear many are experiencing.  As a broad and diverse organization that spans many states, cultures and communities, I realize that any message I post will be interpreted differently by each person because we bring our own set of perspective and lived experience. At the Board of Child Care – we must begin talking about racism that effects all of us.

This is a moment to care for and listen to one another, and to create intentional spaces for critical conversations about the role and sources of systemic racism in our own BCC community, our neighborhoods, States, regions and our country and to commit to solving them.  It is imperative to create a process for critical racial and diversity conversations at BCC.

To this end, BCC is building upon the revolutionary work of its internal LGBTQ+ committee and refining as expanding it to embrace Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  The Senior Leadership Team learned about the EDI committee in March just before COVID-19 began our collective immersion into our “new normal.”

The EDI committee will consist of colleagues from across the agency that serve in a variety of roles.  It will be a forum for important dialogue that generates problem solving and new ways of doing things that allows for recovering and healing at BCC. The EDI committee will help BCC learn how to create opportunities for conversations and interactions to allow for understanding appreciation of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. I stress here I will not rely on a committee to solve the huge social issue of racism, nor will it be the end of BCC’s efforts.  Like so many this week, however, I feel a sense of urgency to get started immediately and this is a mechanism I can activate quickly and build momentum from.

The EDI Committee will facilitate an informed conversation and thoughtful strategy around diversity and inclusion.  The strategy to be developed will include considerations and plans such as:

  • Develop an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pledge that declares the vision of BCC related to progress in this area of focus
  • Continue building psychological safety that promotes dialogue about racism and social injustices
  • Develop a cohesive EDI strategy and establish workable goals that may include things like:
    • Working with Human Resources to review and updating the policies and procedures of BCC so that all diversities are included
    • Establish days to celebrate and learn about our differences and similarities
    • Provide helpful consultation to Senior Leaders when managing the challenges of our diverse workforce
    • Influence and/or deliver training topics and content to improve our ability to interact with different cultures, becoming and being aware of one’s own cultural views and biases, develop tolerance for cultural differences and building cross-cultural skills across the workplace (orientation, ongoing education, Leadership and management academy, training requirements)
    • Influence the themes of the Wellness calendar to focus on diversity

As CEO, I will actively participate as a member of these efforts in the pursuit of an environment at BCC where there is equity, diversity and inclusion.  An environment that we all – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, religious beliefs, disability or age – can engage fully at BCC with joy and purpose in our special work.

Our BCC community is hurting. To that end, specific internal resources have been provided to staff. For the general public reading this message, I urge you to take a moment and be aware of your own bias. Take the implicit bias test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/index.jsp

We will stumble and make mistakes in this journey.  No doubt, we won’t get it right each time, but we will learn from our mistakes, like we do now, and learn and grow each time. I am eager to begin to face racism and injustices with you to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive BCC community. Together.

Warmly,

Laurie Anne “LA” Spagnola
President & CEO

Read more from Our purpose and BCC’s path forward
Black Lives Matter

Core Value Winner (Impact) – May 2020

 

IMPACT drives lasting change

We seek to make lasting change in the lives of those we work with by providing services that are durable, measurable, and sustainable.  We will maximize our impact by investing in staff and board development.  Feedback gathered from our entire community will enhance and strengthen our programs and their outcomes. 

WINNER: Aleesha Gladden 

Aleesha is a Therapist at the Strawbridge School.  She has been a Rockstar this year, passionately taking the lead on two important projects.  Aleesha has organized several college and trade school tours for Strawbridge students, and the energy she brings to those tours has inspired some youth to commit to the next steps in their educational careers.  Aleesha has also implemented a new hip-hop group curriculum this year, using the universal language of music to connect with her high schoolers in new ways.  On top of the various ways she is impacting students, she also the “self-care queen” of Strawbridge, always reminding her colleagues to take care of themselves and prioritize their well-being.  Aleesha’s enthusiasm is inspiring for us all!

Congratulations Alessha and thank you!

Read more from Core Value Winner (Impact) – May 2020

Core Value Winner (Empathy) – May 2020

 

Listen and Respond with EMPATHY

Empathy will guide our programming and culture at all levels.  A supportive work and program environment means possessing a desire to know and understand others. We recognize that with empathy we will better understand what type of care and encouragement to provide. 

WINNER: Elizabeth Diaz  

Although the Wraparound Program  is new to BCC, we have been doing a lot within the community and state. Being a part of the Wraparound Program, I have learned a lot watching Elizabeth show empathy not only to each family we work with, but to the everyone she encounters, especially the Wraparound Team. She takes the time to check in weekly with each of us to not only see what’s new with each family, but to check in on us and showing empathy during this crazy time of COVID-19. She listens and provides helpful feedback anytime and she is AWESOME!

Thank you, Elizabeth and congratulations!

Read more from Core Value Winner (Empathy) – May 2020

Core Value Winner (Relationships) – May 2020

 

Foster RELATIONSHIPS within our Community

Openness and honesty with all stakeholders make for both the best program outcomes and team culture. We, as an organization, must act with integrity, build trust with one another, and be committed to transparency about our decisions and promises.

WINNER: Cierra Phillips  

Here is what her nomination said:

I received a call from Cierra Phillips regarding a court case that was continued at least 3 times for a client who would be returning to her family home and Cierra would be sending the official discharge notification. I want to thank Cierra and the client’s team for navigating this case in a trauma responsive and professional manner. The client’s family had negative experiences throughout her time in care (pre-dating her placement at BCC) which impacted her placement at BCC. I witnessed firsthand how our team helped the family (mom) build a relationship that was based on trust. I know this case was more time demanding and difficult than most. I appreciate everyone meeting the family where they were in the process. Special thanks to Maggie for supervising a difficult visit, Donna D. for ensuring the youth’s needs were met, and both Kyle K. and Abbie W. for supporting Cierra and the youth at the court cases. Cierra was the first point of contact, and unfortunately endured most of the negative responses. She handled herself in a manner that makes me happy to have her on our team.

Congratulations and thank you!

Read more from Core Value Winner (Relationships) – May 2020

Core Value Winner (Safety) – May 2020

Safety as A Mindset

We value life, spirit, and health above all else and take action to maintain the safety of our workplaces, programs, and services. We are personally accountable for our own safety and collectively responsible for the safety of our community.

WINNER: Brianna Diggs

Bri is our health and safety coordinator and is consistently making sure that all cottages have their PPE supplies, sewing masks, keeping an inventory of our PPE materials, maintaining medication passes, conducting training for CPR and First Aid along with medication administration, while being an overall positive light on our campus. Bri is consistently helping with behavioral management and is a resource on campus to all staff.

Bri, thanks so much for being a role model to your fellow staff and our youth. Congratulations!

Read more from Core Value Winner (Safety) – May 2020

BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2020
Contact: Kristian Sekse
Email: ksekse@boardofchildcare.org
Phone: 443.845.4395

(Baltimore, MD)—The Board of Child Care of the United Methodist Church, Inc. (BCC) announced today that it has been awarded a $6.9 million Federal grant to provide fifty (50) residential beds for children who enter the United States but who are without a guardian. This population is commonly referred to as “unaccompanied children.” The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Delivering this service helps BCC fulfill its purpose: enriching communities, one family at a time.

Unaccompanied children are at significant risk of exploitation, including human trafficking. ORR partners with residential providers, like BCC, to deliver best practice and trauma informed child welfare services. Some of these services include temporary shelter, education, medical and mental health care, and, most importantly, vetting of a suitable sponsor or foster care placement for the child. The child will live at BCC for a short period of time but will remain with their sponsor (or in a Federal foster care placement) while they await their immigration court date to make their immigration case.

BCC calls this program, “Caminos,” which is the Spanish word for “journey.” As an organization BCC has been running Caminos since 2014. Caminos Nacional utilizes the skills developed delivering the program and extends it reach by providing guidance, consultation and grant management to accredited partner organizations so that they may also offer the Caminos service to these at-risk children.

BCC’s Caminos Nacional program will bring Cunningham Children’s Home of Urbana Illinois (CCH, cunninghamhome.org) and Florida United Methodist Children’s Home (FUMCH, fumch.org) in partnership with BCC. This is the first time BCC is serving as a consultant and grant manager.

“BCC’s purpose is to enrich communities, one family at a time. The partnership with CCH and FUMCH was made possible by our mutual involvement in the United Methodist Association (ouruma.org) and we are all thankful for our faith-based network! Caminos Nacional will give us the opportunity to share our therapeutic best practices with each other, which ultimately benefits everyone in our respective communities,” said Laurie Anne Spagnola, BCC’s President, and CEO. “It’s truly an incredible example of our purpose statement in action. I know we’ll learn a lot from each other and emerge stronger from working together.”

The Board of Child Care is a private, 501(c)3 nonprofit, which has been serving youth and their families across the Mid-Atlantic for over 130 years. With over 800 staff and an annual budget around $43 million, its programing continuum includes behavioral health, residential treatment, and educational services.

For more information, please email ksekse@boardofchildcare.org.
###

Read more from BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

Board of Child Care’s Caminos Program Recognized!

Board of Child Care to receive the United Methodist Association Innovation Award for its dedication to innovation with the Caminos Program.

The United Methodist Association (UMA) has selected the Board of Child Care (BCC) to receive its 2020 Innovation Award for the Caminos Program.  UMA is a membership organization whose mission is to promote, inspire, recognize, and empower excellence in human service ministries. The Board of Child Care has been chosen to receive this prestigious award in celebration of its dedication to programming innovation and best practices in ministry. Board of Child Care, Cunningham Children’s Home, and Florida United Methodist Children’s Home will accept the Innovation Award on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 during the UMA Annual Meeting in Boulder, Colorado.

BCC’s Caminos Program provides safe, secure placement options for children who have recently migrated to the United States and are seeking opportunities for reunification with family.  As part of our commitment to expanding support for this vulnerable population, BCC has been working in collaboration with two (2) other UMA member agencies to share our experience and expertise.  Cunningham Children’s Home (Illinois) and Florida United Methodist Children’s Home staff visited the Board of Child Care to establish a collaborative framework of practice that would assist unaccompanied minors with:

  • A safe and secure placement
  • Case management support
  • Clinical mental health treatment
  • Educational support in a trauma-informed manner

With this new sprinkling of thinking, agency awardees imagine that the UMA network will inspire other organizations to consider innovative ways to stretch their faith tradition to serve others in unique ways!

For more information about our Caminos Program, please click here.

Read more from Board of Child Care’s Caminos Program Recognized!

Core Value Winners January 2020

ALL-STAFF MEETING

Board of Child Care’s Core Values of Safety, Relationships, Empathy and Impact provide a solid foundation for all staff to grow professionally, personally and spiritually.

On Wednesday, January 29, 2020, during BCC’s all staff meeting, our President and CEO Laurie Anne Spagnola presented awards to several amazing team members who embody our core values to make a greater impact on the youth and families we serve.

Join us as we celebrate our BCC Core Value Award Winners.

SAFETY as A Mindset.  We value life, spirit, and health above all else and take action to maintain the safety of our workplaces, programs, and services. We are personally accountable for our own safety and collectively responsible for the safety of our community.

 

 

Foster RELATIONSHIPS within our Community.  Openness and honesty with all stakeholders make for both the best program outcomes and team culture.

We, as an organization, must act with integrity, build trust with one another, and be committed to transparency about our decisions and promises.

 

 

Listen and Respond with EMPATHY.  Empathy will guide our programming and culture at all levels. A supportive work and program environment means possessing a desire to know and understand others. We recognize that with empathy we will better understand what type of care and encouragement to provide.

 

IMPACT Drives Lasting Change.  We seek to make lasting change in the lives of those we work with by providing services that are durable, measurable, and sustainable. We will maximize our impact by investing in staff and board development. Feedback gathered from our entire community will enhance and strengthen our programs and their outcomes.

 

Read more from Core Value Winners January 2020